Ho Chi Minh City, the bustling metropolis located in the south of Vietnam, is famous for its vibrant and diverse food.
But sometimes tourists find it difficult trying the variety of foods Vietnam has to offer. That’s why we think a food tour is essential for any Vietnam first-timer.
And when it comes to food tours, the XO Foodie Tour is the best. It’s the perfect way to experience the local cuisine, learn about the culture and history of the city, and meet new people along the way.
So grab your chopsticks and come on a culinary adventure with us as we explore the best food that Ho Chi Minh City has to offer.
About XO Tours
With almost ten years of experience, XO Tours has become Saigon’s most trusted food tour and was the first to feature all-female bike drivers.
This tour offers a unique and authentic look into the lives of the local people and lets guests try some of the not-so-well-known Vietnamese dishes.
What to expect on the XO Foodie tour
We were picked up from our hotel by our designated tour drivers, Hang and Hong, and we instantly felt like we were in good hands.
Our guides were total pros, and they made us feel safe and secure the whole time. They spoke excellent English and were incredibly knowledgeable about the areas we were driving through.
And they didn’t just point out the sights, they really engaged with us, telling us stories and answering all of our questions.
First Stop – Introductions
Our first stop was to meet the rest of the tour group, including our charismatic tour leader, Sang.
He introduced all of us by name and gave us a warm welcome to the tour. We were all so excited to get started.
Throughout the tour, Sang was not only our guide, but our friend, sharing his own stories and experiences with us as we explored the city together.
Sang explained all the different elements that goes into this superb dish, from the fragrant lemongrass to the tender beef and delicious noodles.
It was clear Sang was passionate about the food of his country, and it made the experience all the more special.
Second Stop – Chinatown
We then rode into the bustling heart of Chinatown. The moment we entered this vibrant community, we were struck by the colorful architecture and lively atmosphere.
Everywhere we looked, there were shops and vendors selling all sorts of wares, from traditional Chinese decor to modern electronics. The signs were all written in beautiful Chinese characters, making us feel like we were in a completely different world.
We stopped for a moment to take it all in, and that’s when our tour leader, Sang, give us a little history lesson. He explained the significance of Chinatown and the role it has played in the cultural melting pot of Ho Chi Minh City.
Third Stop – Barbecue and Beer!
We hopped back onto our bikes and headed to the next district, feeling excited for more tasty local food. Our guides had promised us some of the best barbecued meats in the city, and we were ready to dig in.
We arrived at a local restaurant that was bustling with locals, and we knew we were in for a treat.
The aroma of grilled meats was mouth-watering, and we eagerly awaited our plates. As promised, there were plenty of options to choose from, including some unique meats that we’d never tried before.
Also, at this stage, the beer and shots came out! Our guides made sure we were well-hydrated with cold, refreshing drinks.
Trying new and unusual foods is one of the highlights of the XO Foodie tour, so we were thrilled to sample grilled frog, a dish that we never would have tried on our own.
We were pleasantly surprised by the taste. The meat was tender and flavorful, with a unique texture similar to chicken or fish.
Of course, there were plenty of other unique dishes to try, but we don’t want to spoil the fun for by giving away too many details. Let’s just say you won’t be disappointed!
The food and drink just kept coming, and we ate until we were completely stuffed. But everything was so tasty we couldn’t help ourselves. We left the restaurant with happy stomachs and a newfound appreciation for the incredible flavors of Ho Chi Minh City.
Fourth Stop – ‘Little Singapore’
As we continued on our food tour, we arrived at a more upscale neighborhood in a central district. Our tour leader, Sang, was quick to give us the inside info on this unique part of the city.
“This district is like a little slice of Singapore in Saigon,” Sang explained. And as we looked around, we could definitely see the similarities. The neighborhood had a more modern, cosmopolitan feel to it, with wide streets and a distinct lack of motorbikes.
Instead, we saw plenty of luxury European cars. It was fascinating to see how this part of the city differed from the others we’d visited, and we soaked up all of Sang’s insightful details about the area.
Last stop – Seafood Finale
If you’re a seafood lover, then get ready – the next stop on our food tour was our favorite! We headed to a district that’s famous for its seafood, and our taste buds were in for a real treat.
We sat down at a bustling restaurant packed to the brim with locals. As we looked around, we could see everyone tucking into giant platters of fresh seafood – it was clear that this was the place to be for any seafood lover in Saigon.
And once our own dishes arrived, we knew we were in for a real treat. We feasted on succulent crab, perfectly seared scallops, and juicy, flavorful clams. One of the standout dishes was a spicy soup with deliciously plump clams – it was pure heaven in a bowl.
But even though our stomachs were already filled to the brim, we couldn’t resist trying some traditional Vietnamese desserts to finish. It was the perfect end to a truly unforgettable meal.
Why you should try the XO Foodie tour
There are so many reasons why you should try in the XO Foodie tour:
- Tour drivers and guides that are incredibly attentive and make you feel safe at all times – even when navigating the chaotic traffic of Saigon!
- Unlimited food and drinks (with plenty of encouragement to ask for more!), and even the chance to try some more unusual dishes that you might not otherwise have tried on your own.
- Photographs are taken throughout and emailed to you later, so you can relive all the delicious food and fun memories even after you’ve returned home.
- Any vegetarians or vegans will be happy with plenty of options available to suit their needs.
- Comprehensive medical insurance is included in the tour – something you won’t find with other tour companies.
How to book the XO Foodie tour
Booking the tour is easy and only takes a few minutes. Visit the the XO Foodie booking form, and follow the few simple steps. You’ll then receive a confirmation email with all the details you need.
If you’re someone who likes to be spontaneous and hasn’t planned ahead, you’ll be happy to know that XO Tours are very accommodating and will do their best to help you book a tour on short notice. Their team is always ready to answer any questions you might have.
After booking your tour, you can start looking forward to your exciting food adventure. The XO Foodie tour will take you to some of the city’s best and most unique street food destinations, and you’ll get to taste a wide variety of delicious and authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Whether you’re a foodie, a traveler, or simply someone who enjoys good food, this tour is an experience you won’t want to miss!